Sassafrass

Sassafrass

From smut to sweet and everything in between...

Review
3 Stars
Why?
Mr. President (White House Book 1) - Katy Evans

Mr. President (White House Book 1) - Katy Evans 

 

I really liked this one.  I actually wanted to give it a higher rating than I did. I thought that the premise was neat and really added dimension to the story.  I thought that the history between Charlotte and Matt was cool and really helped add depth to their relationship.

 

But what really stuck in craw was the fact that Charlotte and Matt were keeping things a secret like she was some stripper or something (not that there is anything wrong with being a stripper, but you could see how being with one would make it difficult for someone running for president).  Anyway, here is Charlotte, a more perfect woman for a man running for president doesn't exist), but everyone is hiding her away like some dirty little secret.  And they can't be together if he wins?  

 

The whole thing just doesn't make sense and it bothered me throughout the story.  It ended up taking out some of the enjoyment I would have had with this story.

 

I will definitely go on to read the next book because I have to know what happens.  I'm hoping that they get their act together.

Review
4 Stars
Undercover heat!
The Thing About Love - Julie James

The Thing About Love - Julie James 

 

THE THING ABOUT LOVE is such a great enemies-to-lovers story. Julie James sure knows how to write Contemporary Romance.

John and Jessica have history together. They were in the FBI academy together and became enemy number one to each other. Fast forward several years and as luck would have it, they are being put together in an undercover operation in Florida that has them in some close quarters. They may not like each other but it doesn't mean that they can't appreciate how hot the other is.

Spending a lot of time together turns up the heat and also clears up so long ago misconceptions. But, when the case is over, so is their relationship. Or so they think.

I really thought this was adorable. John and Jessica were total frenemies. It was funny to see how the other viewed how things went down between them when they were in the academy. It's a shame that they lost that time thinking poorly of each other when if they had just talked, they would have saved themselves a lot of misery. But where would the fun in that have been?

I wanted to bop both of them on the head because they just couldn't see the forest through the trees when it came to their relationship, but I'm so glad that they figured it all out in the end.

THE THING ABOUT LOVE is loosely related to the FBI/US Attorney series but can easily be read as a standalone. Some previous characters make small appearances in the book, but you don't need all the history to enjoy this story.

I hope we continue to get more books out of this FBI/US Attorney world because I just love the stories and characters that come out of it.

*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Review
3.5 Stars
Cute cozy
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Joanne Fluke

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Joanne Fluke 

 

*3.5 STARS*

 

Cute Cozy!

I thought this was cute. I liked that the heroine liked herself as she was. She wasn't perfect and she didn't have a husband or kid but she was good doing her.

We'll see what happens now the potential love interest came to town.

I was screaming at her the whole time leading up to the murderer reveal. I don't know how she didn't see that coming from a mile away. But it all worked out in the end (of course).


I'm looking forward to trying the cookie recipes given in the book. I hope they're good.

Review
5 Stars
So many feels..
Divided in Death (In Death Series #18) -

This was a hard one to get through at times.  Eve and Roarke really went through it during this one.  Eve's case really hit home for Roarke in more ways than one and it hit Eve personally as well.  For a time, they let that get in the way of their relationship and it was hard.

 

Although Eve says that she's not good at the relationship stuff, I think she's very honest with herself.  I believe it makes her very good at the relationship "stuff".  She may not always know exactly how to express her feelings, but she doesn't do half bad at all.

 

Overall, I thought the story was fascinating.  So many twists and turns in this one. I really didn't want it to end.

 

The gang was all back again.  And I love that Peabody and McNab got to go on their own adventure.  And Feeny and Eve's relationship is just so sweet.  I'm so glad she has him and Dr. Mira.

 

I'm looking forward to reading more of this series.  It's amazing and just seems to get better and better.

Review
5 Stars
Nice to see this family again!
Swing - Adriana Locke

*4.5 STARS*!

 

Great follow up to the Landry Family Series. I really like this family.

This time around we get Lincoln Landry, youngest boy, hot as sin baseball player. He sees the woman of his dreams when he's on an elevator and his life is never gonna be the same.

I loved the fact that as hot for him as Ryan Danielle was, she wouldn't give Lincoln the time of day at first. It really put him off his game. LOL

and what the heck is about those Landry books and food items. First it was Barrett and the grapes (I'll have to revisit that one) and now it's Lincoln and the ice. Those boys certainly are inventive in the bedroom.

Huxley made his appearance in this book too. I loved the heart-to-heart he and lincoln had about what Hux's mom and Barrett do when they are in their bedroom. LOL

But what made the story for me was how all in Lincoln was. Once he knew that was it. I love that. it's the sexiest thing ever when a man is like that. I'm so glad that he was willing to fight for what he wanted.

I can't wait to start the next book in the series. I'm loving these Landrys.

Audio on this one is excellent. The first one too. I love these two narrators. They are both new to me but they do an awesome job.

Review
5 Stars
Hard to read, hard to rate...
Now Everyone Will Know: The Perfect Husband, His Shattering Secret, My Rediscovered Life - Maggie Kneip

This is a hard book to rate. It's someone story, so it doesn't matter how well you think it progressed. It's what happened, right?

I have so many feelings about this. I feel bad for this mother whose world was ripped apart by what then a killer disease. It's been so long since the days when I grew up in the 80's when AIDS was the boogie man lurking around the corner.

What strikes me most about this story is the fact that Maggie never got the benefit of having closure. She bathed and diapered this man and he never apologized, thanked her, or confessed beyond stating that he "slept with men in Los Angeles" which was before they met.

And the had to swallow a lot of anger for her kids and her own sanity when she deserved the right to own that.

I can't imagine what a burden that must have been. But good for her for having this outlet to give some closure and to be able to shed some light on a secret that shouldn't have been hers to bear.

I think that this story will stay with me for a long time. I'm glad to hear that she was able to find some peace and let go of all that subterfuge and stress. I hope that she continues to be blessed with it.

Review
4 Stars
Cute!
Forbidden Fling (Wildwood Book 1) - Skye Jordan

Forbidden Fling (Wildwood Book 1) - Skye Jordan 

 

I thought this was cute.  It was different for me than the Renegades series by the author.  I was mad though that our hero wasn't just a bit more honest with the heroine as their relationship developed.  So, it made the quick wrap up at the end more unbelievable.  But, other than that, it was a fun, quick read, and the narration was great too!

Review
3.5 Stars
Pretty good read...
Levitate - Kaylee Ryan

Levitate - Kaylee Ryan 

 

*3.5 STARS*

 

This was a pretty good read.  It was very angsty with both Max and Kensington's backgrounds but it lent importance to the story.  I thought it unrealistic with Max going off with some chick after getting rejected by Kensi that Kensi would fall for his charms so easily, but it is fiction.

 

I also had a hard time believing the scene between Max, Kensi and Justin (JT) at the bar at the end of the book.  Too simple.

 

I was glad to see that Max's mom never made an actual appearance in the book.  There were a few scenes in the book that made me roll my eyes, but it certainly didn't take away from the story. 

 

I listened to this one on audio and I find that audio really highlights the fact that some authors write dialogue in a way that people don't actually speak.  Like when authors don't use contractions in their dialogue. It sounds odd.  There weren't (see I used a contraction there) a ton of parts where that happened but when it did, I really is highlighted with the audio.

 

This is my first book by this author and I'd definitely try another one of her books.  I liked the characters and the story.  So, I look forward to trying more of her work soon.

Review
3.5 Stars
HAWT!
Behind the Curtain - Beth Kery

Behind the Curtain - Beth Kery 

 

*3.5 STARS*

 

BEHIND THE CURTAIN is the latest novel by Beth Kery and it was a scorcher! From the moment the sultry siren behind the curtain was introduced, I was completely intrigued. And my interest continued until the last word due to the interesting storyline and unique characters, not mention the how hot the story was.

Asher and Laila met by chance on a secret beach one summer and they experience a love neither one of them ever thought possible or expected, but life took them away from each other. It's now 8 years later and Asher has found Laila again by chance. The feelings between them all come flooding back, but a lot of time has gone by. They will have to decide if they will be able to move on from the past or if the same thing that tore them apart when they were young doom them to the same fate again now.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Laila is a Muslim-American woman of Moroccan descent and Asher is a WASP. It was an interesting pairing. I liked the dimension that her upbringing brought to the book. Also, we start at in the present but then are sent back to 8 years earlier. And in a different way then I've seen done in other books, we stay in the past until that part of the story was completely resolved. I loved that because I wasn't confused by time going back and forth and trying to remember where we are in time.

I thought the ending was a little rushed especially since we spent so much time in the past. I was hoping that the present was able to be developed a little more. With that being said, I enjoyed seeing Asher and Laila from the beginning. It made their meeting again in the present so much richer.

As I stated previously, BEHIND THE CURTAIN was very hot. It wasn't just the sex, but the chemistry was just insane! Asher and Laila were just explosive together and you could literally see my kindle steamy at certain points.

BEHIND THE CURTAIN is my first novel by the author, Beth Kery, but it will not be my last. I liked the great storyline and the intense chemistry between the characters.

*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Review
4 Stars
LOL, funny!
Pucked - Helena Hunting, Shannon Lumetta

Pucked - Helena Hunting

 

I really LOL with this one.  I was funny and absurd, but didn't take itself too seriously and that made me enjoy it all the more.  I have had this one for a long time but for some reason took a long time to get to it.  Now, I'm kicking myself.  I really can't wait to read more of this series.

 

I started listening to it on audio but the male narrator's "Canadian" voice was grating, so I had to stop and read it for the rest of the book.  I thought the female narrator was pretty good so I'm sad I couldn't enjoy the audio.

 

I will be continuing on with this series but won't get audio most likely unless the narrator is different.

Review
4 Stars
I love the Kincaids!
Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge) - Jill Shalvis

I just love the Kincaids and Jacob was no different.  I felt so bad that he was so uneasy around his family.  The guilt that he had because of him leaving could have made him so bitter, but he was so willing and wanting to help and get back in.  He just didn't realize that he was already back in.  All he had to do was show up and the family was ready to take him back in the fold.  I'm glad he got that back.

 

Sophie was a hoot.  I know how it can be for some people to really get themselves together, and she was struggling a bit.  But, I loved her personality and her spirit.  I was so glad that she found someone like Jacob who was believed in her 100% and with no conditions.  

 

The ending was just perfect!  I can't wait to see what adventures the big reveal will bring.  I was surprised at their wedding.  I would have thought their families would have been a part.

 

Now all the Kincaid men are attached.  Next up in Kenna.  I am really interested in what her story is going to bring.  I hope she gets a story.  **hint, hint**

Review
4 Stars
Cute!
MacKenzie Fire - Elle Casey

MacKenzie Fire - Elle Casey 

 

This was cute. Candice seemed flaky but there was way more to her than I originally thought. She got herself in some crazy situations but the best ones were with Ian. Loved the vows at the end. I think I would have peed my pants if I was at a wedding where the groom said that he knew he was in love with his wife after she shot him in the leg! LOL

Review
4 Stars
A little hard to digest...
Easy Virtue (Volume 1) - Mia Asher

Easy Virtue (Volume 1) - Mia Asher 

 

Another day, another cliffie!  This time I was prepared though.  What I wasn't prepared for was the emotion that this book brought out in me.  An utterly unlikeable heroine was at the center of this book, but she was so damaged that I couldn't help but feel something for the girl she could have been if she didn't have crap parents.  Or if she could have had at least one person who cared about her unconditionally growing up.

 

Blair was horrible.  She was an unabashed gold digger, selling her body and looks for rent payments, and she didn't deny it.  But, I really thought things would be different with Ronan.  But, she went and screwed that to hell and back.

 

Lawrence is a whole different story. I know that there's more to him than meets the eye. We get a little glimpse of what his story could be but it was just a little tease.

 

Then we get the frickin' cliffie bombshell right at the end.  But, have no fear, I was ready this time.  I was aware it was going to happen.  It doesn't make the ending easier to handle though.  I have no idea where the story is going to go from her.  I will definitely have to find out.

 

This is my first experience with Mia Asher and I will definitely be reading more. She certainly was not afraid to be raw and dirty but was willing to deliver a good story as well.

Review
4 Stars
Unexpected!
A Little Too Far - Lisa Desrochers

A Little Too Far - Lisa Desrochers 

 

This was so, so good. I wasn't expecting to like this nearly as much as I did. When I read the description, I was intrigued but wary. There were so many ways that this could have been botched. But, this author did an amazing job of straddling the line between the taboo and the extremely far fetched.

I was glad that the story ended up the way that it did. it seemed to be the only right way. But, now I want to know what happens to the other characters that didn't get their HEA. I will definitely be returning to this series...and soon.

Review
4 Stars
Curse you, cliffies!
Dirty Girl (Dirty Girl Duet Book 1) - Meghan March

Dirty Girl (Dirty Girl Duet Book 1) - Meghan March 

 

 

*3.5 STARS*

 

 

I've got admit that I got completely blindsided by this cliffhanger. It was my fault because I didn't do my research before starting the book.  But, I was looking for a book that started with D and this one sounded hot so I went for it.  

 

However, I was screaming in the car (where I was the audiobook ended) and the injustice of it all when the book just dropped the bombshell and then ended.  Done, finito...without a second thought.  GAH! And the bombshell?!  WHAT, crazy!

 

Even with that, this book was freakin' hot!  Cav was dirty-sexy in the most delicious ways. But, I thought that the story was really far fetched.  I had to roll my eyes a couple of times at how outlandish the whole thing was.  That along with the cliff-hanger made this a *3.5 STAR* read for me instead of the *4* I would have given it otherwise.

 

With that being said, I will read the follow up book at some point.  I have to know what's going to happen.  

Review
5 Stars
A beautiful and important piece of literature
Brown Girl Dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson 

 

This is an interesting book for me to review.  I don't usually read poetry and this wasn't on my radar at all, but I ended up reading it for a Goodreads group and I'm so glad that I did.  

 

BROWN GIRL DREAMING is a memoir written in verse.  The poems take you through a story of a young girl growing up from being born in Ohio, to moving to South Carolina, and eventually moving to New York City.  The thing that makes this story unique is the fact that she grew up in the '60's and 70's so her experiences were much different based on her location.

 

I felt a kinship to this young Jacqueline as I was reading her story.  There were a lot of things that I could relate to, no matter that her and my experiences were happening about 15 years apart.  But there are things all brown girls go through no matter the time.  I chuckled when reading "hair night".  Everyone knows about the sizzle of that hot comb. I was wistful when reading "stevie and me" and I think about the first book I read that had a person of color as the main character, and how it affected me (mine wasn't fiction though, it was a book about Wilma Rudolph for young readers).  I also think about the stupid things I thought about doing that could have changed the course of my life forever if not for the fact that I had family who was involved and willing to stop me and make think.  In Ms. Woodson's "graffiti", she had spray paint, but it really could have been anything.  And of course there is the "fabric store" where every brown girl can sympathize with Jaqueline's grandmother for now wanting to go into the store where there employee follows all the black people around to make sure they don't steal anything.  She chooses to go to the fabric store instead.

 

Then there were things that I only heard about.  Like in "what everybody knows now", she talks about how the laws of changed but the attitudes of segregation have not in Greenville, South Carolina.  It must have been so hard for her to go from New York to SC with those vastly different attitudes.  The mixed messages that these kids had to adapt to is unreal, but I look at how some things haven't change.  I think about the fear that I have for my own children especially my son as he gets older, and the stereotypes that he is going to have to still endure.  The fear that I have that one day he may be stopped by police and never come home again.

 

Ultimately, BROWN GIRL DREAMING was beautifully written and touched me so deeply, I know that I will be thinking about the story and revisiting it for a long time.  I am going to make sure that it's a book that my daughter reads very soon, and probably force my son to read it as well (I'll convince him that it's not just about an "icky" girl).  I would recommend this book for everyone, it's poignant but funny at times, sad too.  And I believe that everyone will be able to find some like experiences to her story as well.

 

This is a new author for me, but she's definitely on my radar now.  I will be looking for more of her work.